Initiatives in the 2019 Federal Budget were a good start but did not address the heart of the problem for people living with dementia, their families and carers, according to Dementia Australia CEO Maree McCabe.
Ms McCabe said this week’s budget failed to recognise dementia within the health, ageing and disability industries.
“Dementia Australia’s strategic direction, Designing a New Future, released in October 2018, showed the issues important to people impacted by dementia are timely diagnosis and support, the need for quality dementia care, and tackling discrimination,” Ms McCabe said.
“With 447,000 Australians living with dementia, 1.5 million people involved in the care of someone living with dementia, and the prevalence projected to increase to 1.1 million people by 2058, the impact of dementia cannot be ignored.
“Dementia is the chronic health condition of the 21st century.
“Dementia needs to be core business for everyone and there is still a lot more to do in health, disability and ageing.
“A comprehensive and coordinated action plan is required to specifically address the complex needs of people living with dementia and, their families and carers, 70% of whom live in the community.
“This figure particularly highlights the urgent need to respond to the growing waiting list for Home Care Packages.”
Ms McCabe said dementia was the second leading cause of death of Australians and the leading cause of death of Australian women.
“I urge all parties in the 2019 Federal election campaign to pledge to include significant investment in dementia care,” Ms McCable said.